Tag Archives: solar power

KYOCERA to Build World’s Largest Floating Solar Installation

Floating Solar Installation at Yamakura Dam

Yamakura Dam Site

December 22, 2014 – Kyocera Corporation (President: Goro Yamaguchi; herein “Kyocera”) and Century Tokyo Leasing Corporation (President: Shunichi Asada; herein “Century Tokyo Leasing”) announced today that Kyocera TCL Solar LLC, a joint venture established by the two companies, will develop and operate a 13.4-megawatt (MW) floating solar power plant on the Yamakura Dam reservoir, managed by the Public Enterprises Agency of Chiba Prefecture in Japan for industrial water services. The plant will become the largest floating solar installation in the world*1.

Aiming to reduce its burden on the environment, the Public Enterprises Agency of Chiba Prefecture had been publicly seeking companies to construct and operate a floating solar power plant at the Yamakura Dam. Kyocera TCL Solar was selected to undertake this project in part due to its experience and expertise in developing utility-scale solar power plants in Japan. The company aims to begin operations in March 2016 after negotiating with related parties including Tokyo Electric Power Company.

Solar Power Rocks Releases Comprehensive 2015 U.S. State Solar Power Rankings Report

Solar Power Rocks, the nation’s leading source for clear and detailed information about U.S. residential solar energy policy, has just released its 2015 State Solar Power Rankings report.

The report contains ratings of all 50 states and the District of Columbia based on twelve key criteria leading to strong financial results for homeowners interested in installing solar panels. State summaries include links to pages with detailed discussions of policy, incentives and rules that affect each state’s residential solar power prospects.

Solar Power Rocks is committed to giving homeowners a clear picture of the policy, incentives, and investment returns on local solar panel installations. The organization also seeks to recognize the best states for solar and clearly illustrate how all state legislatures can encourage residential solar energy growth based on the best practices in the most successful states.

Alta Devices Enables Unmanned Aircraft to Fly as Long as the Sun is Shining

Alta Devices solar-powered unmanned aerial vehicle

Very High Efficiency and Lightweight Solar Material Provides Unmatched Power to Weight Ratio

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – July 25, 2013 – During a keynote at the small unmanned systems business expo in San Francisco, CA today, Alta Devices’ CEO, Christopher Norris, explained that small unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) are no longer constrained to short-range or limited flight times and are now able to fly as long as the sun is shining. This is expected to have tremendous economic value for agricultural, public safety, wildfire mapping, search and rescue, law enforcement, industrial applications, and many others.

In the past, solar solutions for powering these vehicles were either too heavy or could not produce enough power for long-range flight, or both. However, a small UAV outfitted with Alta Devices’ mobile power technology can produce enough power, while adding practically no weight, to fly indefinitely under the sun.

Alta Devices manufactures the world’s thinnest, most flexible, and most efficient solar material. It can be used on anything that moves, can be carried, or worn, to generate substantial power from light. In the case of a typical small UAV with a 9-foot wingspan, Alta’s material can generate roughly 125W of power and weigh about 125g (about 4.5 ounces). In many cases, this is enough power to sustain flight and keep an on-board power source fully charged.

Chris Norris, Alta Devices president and CEO explained, “A broad range of civil unmanned systems will benefit from extended range and endurance. For example, when a UAV is used to map a wildfire, or on a human search and rescue mission, it is critical to have flight times that are as long as possible.” And for agricultural use, the ability to extend the range of a UAV and shorten the task of monitoring a large area by avoiding stops to recharge, has significant economic benefit to the farming community. According to a report published by the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI), precision agriculture and public safety represent over 90% of the potential for civil UAS use and will result in an economic benefit to the United States of 82 billion dollars between 2015 and 2025.

Gretchen West, executive vice president, Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) said, “Efficiency and endurance are the holy grail for unmanned systems. Enabling all-day flight times for small UAVs will change the game for civil use and represents a significant market opportunity.”

About Alta Devices
Alta Devices is (EM)POWERING THE UNPLUGGED WORLD™ by delivering the world’s most efficient, thin and flexible mobile power technology. Converting light into electricity, Alta’s technology extends the energy source of a system, and in many cases, completely cuts the traditional power cord. The solution can be completely integrated into the final system, and is ideal for use in unmanned systems, consumer electronics, automotive, remote exploration, or anywhere size, weight, and mobility matter. Alta Devices holds world records for energy conversion efficiency1, and has received funding from, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, August Capital, Crosslink Capital, AIMCo, GE, Dow, and others. The company is headquartered in Sunnyvale, CA.

For more information, visit http://www.altadevices.com.

MS Turanor PlanetSolar Embarks on Transatlantic Scientific Expedition

solar yacht

MS Turanor PlanetSolar, the world’s largest, solar-powered yacht ever constructed, will sets sail this month on a transatlantic, scientific expedition to study climate change. In only 22 days, the vessel broke its Guinness World Record for completing the fastest transatlantic crossing with a solar boat, solely operated without any fuel or CO2 emissions.

The sun-powered, 102-ft. catamaran will dock in 16 different cities along its journey and make its U.S. debut with a stopover in Miami at Sunset Harbour Yacht Club, South Florida’s only five-star, certified green marina. To celebrate its arrival, a private press conference luncheon and VIP tour of the vessel will take place starting at 11:30 a.m. on Monday, June 3rd, with local dignitaries and government officials in attendance.

The expedition kicks off the vessel’s second global tour and the launch of the 2013 “PlanetSolar Deep Water” expedition, where distinguished scientists from the University of Geneva (UNIGE) will collect data from air and water to study the key parameters of climate regulation, specifically atmospheric aerosols, phytoplankton and ocean eddies, whirlpools that carry large amounts of energy. In addition, the vessel will conduct environmental clean-up missions by collecting floating plastic waste and host educational events in port cities to raise public awareness of climate issues.

Locally, students from inner-city schools affiliated with Communities In Schools of Miami, Inc. the local chapter of the nation’s leading dropout prevention organization, and students attending Florida International University are scheduled to tour the vessel to learn more about climate regulation and environmental issues.

The MS Turanor PlanetSolar’s team will sail along the Gulf Stream’s ocean current, one of the most important regulators of European and North American climates, from May to August. The expedition will be led by Professor Martin Beniston, climatologist and director of the Institute of Environmental Sciences at University of Geneva.

One of the instruments installed onboard, the Biobox, which was developed by the applied physics group at UNIGE, is currently the only device capable of making a thorough analysis of aerosols using laser technology. It will be tested for the first time aboard the MS Tûranor PlanetSolar.

At the helm of MS Turanor PlanetSolar is Captain Gerard D’Aboville, the first man to row across two oceans solo: the Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean.

The Global Solar Power Revolution

Countries all over the world are leading the way towards a green economy. Unfortunately lobbying by the oil, gas, coal and nuclear industries are hindering progress. Very soon, perhaps even now depending on the cost of electricity in your area, solar technology will be more economically cost effective than traditional forms of electrical production.

Solar Electric Light Fund Completes Installation of 12 Solar Systems to Power Health Care Facilities in Haiti

SELF installs Solar Panels in Haiti

The Solar Electric Light Fund (SELF), a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit working to eliminate energy poverty through the use of solar power, today announced the successful installation of solar electric systems at 11 health care facilities and one hospital along the southwest coast of Haiti. Through collaboration with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the Government of Haiti, the systems, with a combined power output of just over 38 kW, will help to improve the quality of medical services provided to more than 170,000 Haitians by powering lights, microscopes, centrifuges, autoclaves, vaccine refrigerators and other lifesaving equipment.

Almost immediately after the systems were made fully operational a host of benefits were being seen, including a birth at night. In addition, one of the clinics is now saving money from no longer having to purchase and transport the fuel previously needed to power a vaccine refrigerator, since it is now connected to the solar system on site.

“A doctor cannot be expected to perform lifesaving surgeries at night without lights or power for medical equipment,” said Bob Freling, SELF’s Executive Director. “Now, through the provision of reliable solar power, doctors can treat patients at night, diagnose patients any time, and provide vaccines to patients in need – all while saving money by decreasing or eliminating the need for diesel fuel.”

The long-term operation of these installations relies on the routine maintenance needed to ensure each system is operating at maximum performance, so SELF hired and trained eight local technicians to maintain the systems at all the sites. They will also train energy managers and medical staffs on how to operate and monitor each clinic’s system on a daily basis.

“The sustainability of our systems is critical to all of our projects,” said Freling. “In a country continuing to rebuild, it is our responsibility to not only invest in and implement effective energy technologies, but we must also invest in its people.”

SELF’s partnership with the IDB and the Government of Haiti began in 2010 with plans to install solar streetlights at two transition camps in Port-au-Prince. In 2011, SELF successfully installed 68 solar powered streetlights in the tent camp of Caradeux, managed by Operasyon Men Nan Men, and 32 solar streetlights in Petionville Club, managed by the J/P Haitian Relief Organization, a nongovernmental organization founded by Sean Penn.

About SELF
The Solar Electric Light Fund (SELF) is a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit whose mission is to implement solar energy solutions to assist those living in energy poverty with economic, education, health and agricultural development. Its Whole Village Development Model takes an innovative approach to designing and implementing integrated solar systems to improve the lives of the 1.5 billion people living in worldwide energy poverty. Since 1990, SELF has completed projects in more than 20 countries, pioneering unique applications of solar power for drip irrigation in Benin, health care in Haiti, telemedicine in the Amazon rainforest, online learning in South Africa, and microenterprise development in Nigeria. Connect with SELF on the web at www.SELF.org; on Twitter @solarfund; and at Facebook.com/solarelectriclightfund.

New Jersey’s Largest Sawmill Looks to The Sun To Save On Energy Bills

Riephoff Sawmill

Solis Partners, a leading provider of commercial solar power systems, has announced that it has completed the installation of a 243-kilowatt solar photovoltaic (PV) system at Riephoff Sawmill.  Located in Monmouth County in the borough of Upper Freehold, N.J., the Riephoff facility is New Jersey’s largest hardwood sawmill.

The system was designed, engineered and constructed by Manasquan, N.J.-based Solis Partners and comprises of two ground-mounted systems — a 165-kilowatt array that generates power for the sawmill and a 78-kilowatt array that generates power for additional facilities on the property, which include a barn for livestock and an aquafarm.

Located at 763 Route 524, the Riephoff Sawmill is a family-owned business that has been supplying the Northeast with high quality lumber products for the industrial, construction and manufacturing industries for more than 45 years. The two solar systems are housed within the company’s 7-acre yard that is used for scaling and storing logs.

“We are thrilled to announce the completion of this innovative project,” said Jamie Hahn, co-founder and managing director of Solis Partners. “This project allows Riephoff to lower its operating costs and acts as a hedge against the rising costs of electricity, which is especially important in a state that has some of the nation’s highest electricity rates. The ability to produce clean, renewable energy is also very important to Riephoff as an organization reliant on the natural environment for raw materials.”

The 15,000-square-foot mill, which includes a 56-inch circular saw and a 20-foot frick carriage, a device used to pass large pieces of lumber through the saw, as well as the pumps needed for aquafarming, requires a lot of electricity. The solar PV system offsets approximately 100 percent of Riephoff’s electricity consumption, which equates to approximately $36,000 in annual savings.

Built with 1,036 solar PV panels, the solar system will produce approximately 300,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity in the first year of operation. This equates to the reduction of more than 456,000 pounds of CO2 emissions, which is the equivalent of offsetting the power demand of 26 residential homes or removing 40 cars from the road each year.

“We care about the environment,” said John Falconio, principal at Riephoff. “Because our company relies on natural resources, we continuously implement projects and methods that are environmentally responsible. However, the decision to pursue a solar project was easy because there is a strong business case in addition to the environmental benefits.”

Riephoff, which produces products from fencing and posts to hardwood crane mats, which are used to support the weight of a crane, is very resourceful in its operations. Riephoff buys approximately 98 percent of its timber locally and harvests all its wood responsibly, using consultants — when necessary — and techniques that best ensure the rejuvenation of the trees.

“There’s a big misconception that when you cut timber it never grows back, but it’s quite the opposite, “ said Falconio. “We cut timber in a way that we can continue to do so for years to come. And whatever we cut, we use – the only thing we don’t sell is the  buzz and sawdust. Scrap pieces get recycled into landscape mulch, sawdust goes for horse bedding and anything that can’t be sold we use in our wood burning stove.  When managed appropriately, timber is truly a renewable resource.”

“In this business, to stay competitive, you have to be as efficient as possible,” said Falconio. “This solar system is an extension of the efficiency strategies we employ throughout the business, and with plans for expansion with our aquafarming business, the timing was perfect.”

About Solis Partners
Solis Partners is a leading turnkey provider of solar power systems for commercial, industrial, utility and nonprofit clients. Solis specializes in financing, constructing and operating distributed solar power plants that enable clients to meet their long-term energy needs while reducing operating costs and addressing their carbon liabilities. Solis is committed to providing its clients with the most efficient and cost effective path to solar. Solis Partners is headquartered in Manasquan, N.J. For more information, please call (732) 800-0052, or visit www.solispartners.com.

About Riephoff Sawmill

Family-owned since 1964, Riephoff Sawmill, based out of Upper Freehold, N.J., is New Jersey’s largest hardwood sawmill. Servicing clients throughout the northeast and Canada, Riephoff offers top quality lumber products for industrial, construction and manufacturing industries. For more information about Riephoff and its products, please visit www.riephoffsawmill.com.